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A magnificent epic tale of devotion, possession, obsession, and strange destiny from the author of the Hugo Award-winning Paladin of Souls.

The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile—and Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff must transport the body to its burial place and the accused killer, the Lady Ijada, to judgment. With the death of the old Hallow King imminent and the crown in play, the road they must travel together is a dangerous one. And though he is duty-bound to deliver his prisoner to an almost certain death, Ijada may be the only one Ingrey dares trust. For a monstrous malevolence holds the haunted lord in its sway—and a great and terrible destiny has been bestowed upon him by the gods, the damned, and the dead.

Topics: Ghosts, Battles of Succession, Magical Curses, Possessed, Kings, Princes, Saints, Servants, Wolves, Gods & Goddesses, Magical Creatures, Animals, Politics, Death, Murder, Medieval Period, Dark, Lush, Trilogy, and Female Author

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061795978
List price: $7.99
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Not as enthralling as the other books set in the Chalion universe. Whilst the main characters are interesting the book didn't flow as well for me and I found it hard going in parts. It seemed to get bogged down in the intricacies of the 'ridden' characters and just seemed improbable in places.read more
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Another excellent entry in this series. I'm surprised with how many different ideas this author has been able to do with this world. While each book is closely linked to the 5 gods (Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, and Bastard...I love the Bastard) she puts a new spin on how the world is linked to the spirit world in each one. This is a bit more of a departure from the first two books, however people who enjoyed the series so far should like this book as well.read more
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A reading ride: The Hallowed Hunt is a beautiful and fast-paced fantasy and sci-fi story filled with action, adventure and mystery. Like Heart Stroke, Irresistible Forces, Usurper and Others, The Shadow of Saganami, the reader gets thrilled until the last page.read more
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I did not enjoy this as must as the two other Chalion novels, but it's still a very good read. It's not set in Chalion, but in a northern country more like a mix of England and Germany, and has engaging characters, even the minor ones.read more
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This is the third book set in the Chalion universe, but it's a standalone with no common characters or thread, just a related culture with the same dominant religion. If the land of The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, can be identified with Renaissance Spain, then the Weald of The Hallowed Hunt could be seen as Medieval Germany--the Weald being a land barely mentioned in the other books that's far away and this a tale in the past of the other books. I loved The Curse of Chalion, which was my first Bujold book, and I loved Paladin of Souls even more--probably my single favorite Bujold book, and I've read 19 of her 21 novels published thus far, and expect to be grabbing a copy of her latest when it's published tomorrow. Of all those books, I think The Hallowed Hunt her weakest--certainly her least memorable.Bujold is a more than competent writer, with great world-building skills, although she doesn't set herself apart as a literary writer with the kind of stylistic brilliance of say an Ursula LeGuin. Nor are her ideas as mind-boggling as an Issac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke. Where she does usually shine is her rich and distinctive characters. I fell madly in love with her Miles Vorkosigan, the star of her 14 book space opera Vorkosigan Saga. I loved Lupe dy Cazaril of The Curse of Chalion and adore Ista of the sequel Paladin of Souls more than I can express. I'm mighty fond of Fawn and Dag of her Sharing Knife books. In comparison the hero and heroine of The Hallowed Hunt, Ingrey and Ijada, struck me as flat. And while this starts and ends well, the middle was a slog--unusual in a Bujold book which are usually page-turners throughout.Now, that's in comparison with her other books. I can't say this book isn't worth reading at all. If you liked the other Chalion books, I wouldn't discourage you from trying it. But I think if you expect something like the other two books, you might be disappointed. And this isn't in my opinion a great introduction to Bujold--whose next book, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, I can't wait to read!read more
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A very good book. The tone and mood is different from the previous two books in this series: although it is still fantasy, and still set in the same "5 gods" world, I was continually reminded of Vorkosigan while reading this -- the viewpoint character's attitude, also some of the dialogues and the implied narrating voice.Less brooding and intense than Paladin of Souls, a fun read which did manage to keep me up past my bedtime to find out what would happen next.read more
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I loved this. Of course, I generally love Bujold's work and give her a good amount of leeway, but she didn't disappoint. I've heard some people say they didn't like this one as much as The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. It was a bit different (in a very different part of this universe for one thing and a couple of centuries for another), but I really enjoyed it. About half way through it took an unexpected right angle and went in a different direction from what I had expected. I thought this made the story a lot stronger, but it may be what annoyed other readers. To me, it gave the whole story a lot more depth and purpose than just the simpler level of tale we began with. You don't really need to have read the first two books to enjoy this one, but you will have a better understanding of the Chalionese gods if you do and that may help the sense of the story as, once again, it is a theological tale as well as an adventurous one.read more
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This story is very loosely linked to the other two Chalion books - I'm not even sure what the time sequence is. They know _about_ Chalion (the country), but it's not someplace that affects the story directly. The overlay of cultures is fascinating - the Old Weald, the invaders, and the New Weald (which is both) all overlapping. The magic and the way people relate to it are - well, I've never read any other book that had really similar magic. There are similarities to classic werewolves...but not many. A weird and wonderful story, where every time they think they've figured out what's going on something new pops up and changes the ground they're fighting on. I've read it twice already (since September 2007) and talking about it now makes me want to re-read it. And reread it in January '10.read more
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I really enjoyed this story. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff is summoned to investigate the death of Prince Boleso, slain by Ijada while he was apparently trying to rape her. Things aren't what they seem. Years before Ingrey had been involved in a ceremony and had received a wolf spirit, a spirit that almost killed him until he supressed it. Ijada has the spirit of a leopardess that Prince Boleso was trying to join with. The two animal spirits interact with each other and politics and religion intertwine to bring Ingrey and Ijada along different paths than they might have originally intended.In Lois McMaster Bujold's works being god-touched isn't necessarily a blessing, it's a burden as well, a sign that you have a task to complete and that they have chosen you for this, whether you like it or not.I found it interesting and compelling and thoroughly enjoyable.read more
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Before I joined LT my fantasy reading consisted mainly of regular rereads of Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. In the last couple of years, with the encouragement of many of my LT friends, I have greatly extended my knowledge of and enjoyment of other fantasy authors and series. However, LotR and Narnia have remained alone in my top echelon of fantasy until I read the Chalion series. When I read The Curse of Chalion I was impressed by the world and society she created, found the characters interesting and well drawn and the plot was intriguing. Paladin of Souls was an even better story and I became totally immersed in that world. The third volume of the trilogy, The Hallowed Hunt, takes place in a different part of her “world” with an entirely different society and new characters but the story is powerful and for me this was the best volume in an outstanding series. I was spellbound (which is appropriate given the plot of the story!) throughout and continually surprised. It reads somewhat like a mystery as the reader tries to figure out—along with the main character—what exactly is going on. With this stunning 3rd volume this series becomes the third fantasy series in my top tier of reading.read more
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With Hallowed Hunt, Bujold returns to the very interesting Quintairan world that she started in Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. While not quite as theologically meaty as the first two books, there are some very interesting mediations on the meaning of kingship and the responsibility of those who rule to, well, let go. Keep faith. Be rulers.Of course, like all Bujold’s book, Hunt is a page turner with interesting characters, exciting action scenes and a wonderful laconic wit.The main character, Ingrey is wonderfully morose, which sparks quite a few funny comments from the main female character Lady Ijada, as well as the peanut gallery of side characters.An excellent afternoon read by the pool, on the couch, staying up in bed.What can I say, once I pick Lois up, I don’t want to put the book down till I’m doneread more
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A fun read, although the ending seemed a little bit rushed.read more
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Set in the same world as The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. This has wonderful layers of intrigue and characters to die for; I’m particularly in love with the warrior-prince-poet Jokol and his pet ice bear. A somewhat cranky swordsman Ingrey collects the body of a murdered prince, custody of the killer (a lovely young lady) and gets plunged into a spiritual, magical and political whirlwind.read more
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Good, but not nearly as good as its predecessors. What makes the first two Chalion books is the amazing and unconventional world-building as well as the unusual pantheon. This story takes place in a much more conventional and familiar northwestern Europesque world (though it's south of Chalion and Ibra), and the pantheon plays a smaller role here than it does in the other two books. I'd clasify this book with The Spirit Ring; absolutely worth reading, but not up to top standards.read more
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I'm an enormous fan of Lois Bujold's, and I like her Chalion world, but this book was not among her best work. It just feels like a rehash of a lot of similar concepts and characters from the previous two novels. I give it 3.5 stars because Lois's writing itself, as always, is wonderful; but the plot was disappointingly mundane.read more
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Plot: Well-paced adventure, with a good dash of mysticism and magic. The plot is rather dense, with few side-plots, and overall very focused. Good beginning and an excellent ending that manages to keep you wondering until the wrap-up chapter. It's set in the Chalion universe, but centuries and countries removed from the previous two books, and thus is practically a stand-alone.Characters: Nicely sketched central male character, who is believable in his motives and reactions. The female lead is a little less successful and lacks depth. Side characters are plentiful and drawn with a lot of love, and they really make the story shine. Style: Descriptions are comparatively sparse, but still enough. Good dialogues that feel realistic. The underlying magic puts an interesting twist on a few conventional ideas. What is confusing about the story is the historical background, which doesn't really beome clear until the end. With less references to history, it wouldn't have mattered, but as it is you keep wondering what the characters are going on about. Plus: Excellent, self-contained story.Minus: You're left confused about quite a few things for a while. Relatively boring female lead. Summary: It's not quite up with the other two Chalion books, but still a great read.read more
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A good read, but not as good as the first two. There was so much soul-swapping and spirit animals and craziness going on that the characters didn't get developed very well.read more
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The first time I read this I so wanted a book directly related to the first two books of the series, that I spent half the book confused, looking for familiar characters that never came out to play. This book is set in the same world as the Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, but not in the same time. I'm not even sure if it is many years before or many years after the first two, but the same rules of society and religion apply. You don't need to have read the first two to read this one, it is a stand alone, though I image they help understand some of the religious/cultural aspects.All this is a long winded way of saying I didn't like it the first time I read it because of my own expectations. Rereading it, having different expectations, I find like it just fine. Lady Ijada is a lovely character, a noble woman accused of a most serious crime, with few friends and allies, but with a strict belief in her innocence. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliffe, famous for being possessed by a wolf spirit, comes to take her to judgment, and along the way all sorts of adventures, both physical and mystical happen. Bujold is such a joy as a writer, fluid, fluent, expressive, using beautiful words but not over using them. A very intelligent author. I'm glad I reread this and really enjoyed it.read more
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Really enjoyable. An interestingly different take on the standard dark ages low fantasy world. This is nominally the third of a series, which I didn't realise when I bought it. It seems emminently readable as a standalone, and I'm looking ofrward to enjoying the earlier books to find out exactly what happened previously.Lord Ingrey is the disinherited eldest son of a duke. Not for any of the usual reasons, but because his father succeeded in an ancient (forbidden) rite of investing an animal soul within him. The Temple's usual punishment for such action is hanging, but given the extenuating circumstances Ingrey is allowed to live, although much rumour and gossip surrounds him. He makes his living as a trusted confident and man-at-arms for the High King's sealmaster, Hetwar. As such he is sent to a remote township where the king's youngest son has been murdered. The lady in question is to be brought to the capital for trial. Given that she is a lady of minor rank, Ingrey is cureously polite, but it's quickly apparent that something uncanny has happened - and that the prince was involved. The return journey quickly gets stranger still and Ingrey and the Lady Ilja are thrown into the murky politics of the capital and the Gods where, even here, not everything is as it seems.This works very well as a standalone, the references to the animal magic system are still clearly explained, as is the history and politics of the surrounding kingdoms, even if the precise details leading up to the Prince's death don't emerge. The characters are vibrant and sympathetic, occasionally humerous and interact well together. The plot is well constructed with several red herrings until the main action is revealed. the ending is perhaps a little bit weak. The only other slightly significant downside is that some of the names are too similar, Fala and Fafa for instance. I read quickly and look at a name as a character tag, it was easy if confusing to get these mixed up!Well worth reading, an enjoyable fantasy, vastly different from her more famous SF series.read more
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A book from the world of Paladin of Souls and The Curse of Chalion. Spirits who belong to the land mix it up with humans who have the ability to shape change and humans who have found a way to circumvent death. The damage to the land and the twisting of power lead to a huge push by the dead and old powers to make things right.read more
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Another good book in the Chalion series. LMB's fantasy writing is brilliant - I'm not a fan of her SciFi. If you liked the others in the series you'll like this one. Its not a sequel as no characters from previous books are mentioned. It just uses the same world for a new story.read more
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a good read. Not the best in this seriesread more
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I was blown away by the first two books in the Chalion series. Perhaps my expectations here were too high. The Hallowed Hunt is not a bad book by any means, but it suffers from a slow start, less developed characters, and sometimes confusing theological plot twists.Prince Boleso has been murdered. Lord Ingrey has been dispatched to bring his murderer to justice, and finds things are not at all what he expects. The murderer is a young woman, defending herself from rape. To make the tale even more sordid, the prince dabbled in ancient magics and killed a jaguar--a jaguar whose soul then entered the woman's body. Lord Ingrey has suffered from a similar condition since he was a teenager, and endured much suspicion and condemnation because of the wolf residing in his body. Now, he finds a like soul--and is likely returning her to the capital to face a lopsided trail and certain death.Part of my joy in the first books was in the involvement of the deities. Here, their presence felt more detached for the first half of the book. Everything was about the animal spirits, and that just didn't grab me the same way. Ingrey is a like able enough fellow, but sometimes he feels weak and whiny. Lady Ijada, possessing the jaguar, never really had a chance to come into her own; this is a shame because Bujold's other books displayed such strong, confident women.The Curse of Chalion and The Paladin of Souls will have a permanent place on my shelf; this one will be traded in.read more
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The darkest of the trilogy, but with the best ending. It kind of slogs along and then hits you. I really liked the characters of Hallana and Jokol, and I liked Ijada and Ingrey as well but found their romance a bit stiff and uninteresting.read more
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The third book the author has set in The world of Chalion.The setting is elswhere this time. The Weald which currently follows the same religion as Chalion was before its conquest about five hundred years ago a very different place where the religion was a shamanistic one where people sacrificed animals to absorb their spirits. remnants of the old practises still survive. Which is how Ingrey his own soul unwillingly defiled by a wolf spirit. Finds himself dispatched to tidy up the mess left by death of The king' mad youngest son at the hands of a gentlewoman he intended to use and rape in just such a cerimony. The old ways are refusing to be forgotten. The integration of shamanistic practises into the magic/religious sytwem of the other books is flawless. There is plenty of political manouvering,the cast are generally well drawn and it should work well as a stand alone novel but it lacks the tension and humour of Bujold at her best.read more
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I picked up on the basis that I read [The Vor Game] years and years and years ago, and really enjoyed it. This book was a totally different genre, romantic fantasy through and through rather than a bit of space opera, but it was a good read. The first 10 or so pages took a bit of getting through, but once the main character was introduces and the basic scene was set, the intricate plotting came into it's own, with the main character falling for the one person he shouldn't while coming to terms with who he really was, and trying to unravel who is plotting against him. The romance was predicable and not very convincing, but the world building was interesting, the plotting and paranoia all good. I will be reading more of this author.read more
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(Amy) By far the weakest offering in the Chalion universe to date, but still enjoyable. Bujold sets the bar for excellence so very high that sometimes even she seems to have trouble meeting it later.read more
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(mild, mild spoilers)The Hallowed Hunt comprises the third novel set in the same world as 'Curse of Chalion' and 'Paladin of Souls', but in a different locale, with a new set of characters and at a different time. For these reasons, the book can be read easily as a standalone novel. In any event, it feels completely unconnected both in style and story, to the first two novels. The book is slow to start. Perhaps detrimentally so. I realised that I was genuinely excited by events when there were 70 pages left out of 400. The story is told through the eyes of Lord Ingrey, who carries a magic he does not understand. The villain, Wencel, carries a similar magic and is using it for ill purpose, and again Lord Ingrey is in the dark to his intentions or the truth of the magic. Consequently, most of the book is a foray into Lord Ingrey's mind as he soul-searches, thinks and asks many, many questions about what is happening, what could happen and what he might do about it. Given that I did become enthralled by the last few chapters I realised that somewhere along the slow journey I had come to care about the characters and their fates. But, perhaps, things could have started happening earlier. Bujold's writing lacked a certain spark that brought the previous Chalion novels to rich life. In 'The Hallowed Hunt' the writing was dry, bordering on dull. The love story is stale, predictable and didn't feel particularly genuine either. In fact, it felt like a means to an end, which is a crushing judgment on any love story in a novel. So, while by the end of the book, I enjoyed 'The Hallowed Hunt', I can understand if others throw the book aside early on out of sheer boredom, as I nearly did.read more
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I'm a huge fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, but I just could not get into this book. The previous two books set in this world had intriguing mysteries centered upon the unique concept of gods she created, but this one feels labored. I had to make myself keep going. There were great minor characters, but I had a hard time getting interested in the main ones, which is so unusual for this author! I didn't feel the suspense. I think this ones qualifies as my least favorite of her books.read more
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Not as enthralling as the other books set in the Chalion universe. Whilst the main characters are interesting the book didn't flow as well for me and I found it hard going in parts. It seemed to get bogged down in the intricacies of the 'ridden' characters and just seemed improbable in places.
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Another excellent entry in this series. I'm surprised with how many different ideas this author has been able to do with this world. While each book is closely linked to the 5 gods (Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, and Bastard...I love the Bastard) she puts a new spin on how the world is linked to the spirit world in each one. This is a bit more of a departure from the first two books, however people who enjoyed the series so far should like this book as well.
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A reading ride: The Hallowed Hunt is a beautiful and fast-paced fantasy and sci-fi story filled with action, adventure and mystery. Like Heart Stroke, Irresistible Forces, Usurper and Others, The Shadow of Saganami, the reader gets thrilled until the last page.
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I did not enjoy this as must as the two other Chalion novels, but it's still a very good read. It's not set in Chalion, but in a northern country more like a mix of England and Germany, and has engaging characters, even the minor ones.
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This is the third book set in the Chalion universe, but it's a standalone with no common characters or thread, just a related culture with the same dominant religion. If the land of The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, can be identified with Renaissance Spain, then the Weald of The Hallowed Hunt could be seen as Medieval Germany--the Weald being a land barely mentioned in the other books that's far away and this a tale in the past of the other books. I loved The Curse of Chalion, which was my first Bujold book, and I loved Paladin of Souls even more--probably my single favorite Bujold book, and I've read 19 of her 21 novels published thus far, and expect to be grabbing a copy of her latest when it's published tomorrow. Of all those books, I think The Hallowed Hunt her weakest--certainly her least memorable.Bujold is a more than competent writer, with great world-building skills, although she doesn't set herself apart as a literary writer with the kind of stylistic brilliance of say an Ursula LeGuin. Nor are her ideas as mind-boggling as an Issac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke. Where she does usually shine is her rich and distinctive characters. I fell madly in love with her Miles Vorkosigan, the star of her 14 book space opera Vorkosigan Saga. I loved Lupe dy Cazaril of The Curse of Chalion and adore Ista of the sequel Paladin of Souls more than I can express. I'm mighty fond of Fawn and Dag of her Sharing Knife books. In comparison the hero and heroine of The Hallowed Hunt, Ingrey and Ijada, struck me as flat. And while this starts and ends well, the middle was a slog--unusual in a Bujold book which are usually page-turners throughout.Now, that's in comparison with her other books. I can't say this book isn't worth reading at all. If you liked the other Chalion books, I wouldn't discourage you from trying it. But I think if you expect something like the other two books, you might be disappointed. And this isn't in my opinion a great introduction to Bujold--whose next book, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, I can't wait to read!
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A very good book. The tone and mood is different from the previous two books in this series: although it is still fantasy, and still set in the same "5 gods" world, I was continually reminded of Vorkosigan while reading this -- the viewpoint character's attitude, also some of the dialogues and the implied narrating voice.Less brooding and intense than Paladin of Souls, a fun read which did manage to keep me up past my bedtime to find out what would happen next.
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I loved this. Of course, I generally love Bujold's work and give her a good amount of leeway, but she didn't disappoint. I've heard some people say they didn't like this one as much as The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. It was a bit different (in a very different part of this universe for one thing and a couple of centuries for another), but I really enjoyed it. About half way through it took an unexpected right angle and went in a different direction from what I had expected. I thought this made the story a lot stronger, but it may be what annoyed other readers. To me, it gave the whole story a lot more depth and purpose than just the simpler level of tale we began with. You don't really need to have read the first two books to enjoy this one, but you will have a better understanding of the Chalionese gods if you do and that may help the sense of the story as, once again, it is a theological tale as well as an adventurous one.
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This story is very loosely linked to the other two Chalion books - I'm not even sure what the time sequence is. They know _about_ Chalion (the country), but it's not someplace that affects the story directly. The overlay of cultures is fascinating - the Old Weald, the invaders, and the New Weald (which is both) all overlapping. The magic and the way people relate to it are - well, I've never read any other book that had really similar magic. There are similarities to classic werewolves...but not many. A weird and wonderful story, where every time they think they've figured out what's going on something new pops up and changes the ground they're fighting on. I've read it twice already (since September 2007) and talking about it now makes me want to re-read it. And reread it in January '10.
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I really enjoyed this story. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff is summoned to investigate the death of Prince Boleso, slain by Ijada while he was apparently trying to rape her. Things aren't what they seem. Years before Ingrey had been involved in a ceremony and had received a wolf spirit, a spirit that almost killed him until he supressed it. Ijada has the spirit of a leopardess that Prince Boleso was trying to join with. The two animal spirits interact with each other and politics and religion intertwine to bring Ingrey and Ijada along different paths than they might have originally intended.In Lois McMaster Bujold's works being god-touched isn't necessarily a blessing, it's a burden as well, a sign that you have a task to complete and that they have chosen you for this, whether you like it or not.I found it interesting and compelling and thoroughly enjoyable.
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Before I joined LT my fantasy reading consisted mainly of regular rereads of Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. In the last couple of years, with the encouragement of many of my LT friends, I have greatly extended my knowledge of and enjoyment of other fantasy authors and series. However, LotR and Narnia have remained alone in my top echelon of fantasy until I read the Chalion series. When I read The Curse of Chalion I was impressed by the world and society she created, found the characters interesting and well drawn and the plot was intriguing. Paladin of Souls was an even better story and I became totally immersed in that world. The third volume of the trilogy, The Hallowed Hunt, takes place in a different part of her “world” with an entirely different society and new characters but the story is powerful and for me this was the best volume in an outstanding series. I was spellbound (which is appropriate given the plot of the story!) throughout and continually surprised. It reads somewhat like a mystery as the reader tries to figure out—along with the main character—what exactly is going on. With this stunning 3rd volume this series becomes the third fantasy series in my top tier of reading.
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With Hallowed Hunt, Bujold returns to the very interesting Quintairan world that she started in Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. While not quite as theologically meaty as the first two books, there are some very interesting mediations on the meaning of kingship and the responsibility of those who rule to, well, let go. Keep faith. Be rulers.Of course, like all Bujold’s book, Hunt is a page turner with interesting characters, exciting action scenes and a wonderful laconic wit.The main character, Ingrey is wonderfully morose, which sparks quite a few funny comments from the main female character Lady Ijada, as well as the peanut gallery of side characters.An excellent afternoon read by the pool, on the couch, staying up in bed.What can I say, once I pick Lois up, I don’t want to put the book down till I’m done
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A fun read, although the ending seemed a little bit rushed.
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Set in the same world as The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. This has wonderful layers of intrigue and characters to die for; I’m particularly in love with the warrior-prince-poet Jokol and his pet ice bear. A somewhat cranky swordsman Ingrey collects the body of a murdered prince, custody of the killer (a lovely young lady) and gets plunged into a spiritual, magical and political whirlwind.
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Good, but not nearly as good as its predecessors. What makes the first two Chalion books is the amazing and unconventional world-building as well as the unusual pantheon. This story takes place in a much more conventional and familiar northwestern Europesque world (though it's south of Chalion and Ibra), and the pantheon plays a smaller role here than it does in the other two books. I'd clasify this book with The Spirit Ring; absolutely worth reading, but not up to top standards.
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I'm an enormous fan of Lois Bujold's, and I like her Chalion world, but this book was not among her best work. It just feels like a rehash of a lot of similar concepts and characters from the previous two novels. I give it 3.5 stars because Lois's writing itself, as always, is wonderful; but the plot was disappointingly mundane.
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Plot: Well-paced adventure, with a good dash of mysticism and magic. The plot is rather dense, with few side-plots, and overall very focused. Good beginning and an excellent ending that manages to keep you wondering until the wrap-up chapter. It's set in the Chalion universe, but centuries and countries removed from the previous two books, and thus is practically a stand-alone.Characters: Nicely sketched central male character, who is believable in his motives and reactions. The female lead is a little less successful and lacks depth. Side characters are plentiful and drawn with a lot of love, and they really make the story shine. Style: Descriptions are comparatively sparse, but still enough. Good dialogues that feel realistic. The underlying magic puts an interesting twist on a few conventional ideas. What is confusing about the story is the historical background, which doesn't really beome clear until the end. With less references to history, it wouldn't have mattered, but as it is you keep wondering what the characters are going on about. Plus: Excellent, self-contained story.Minus: You're left confused about quite a few things for a while. Relatively boring female lead. Summary: It's not quite up with the other two Chalion books, but still a great read.
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A good read, but not as good as the first two. There was so much soul-swapping and spirit animals and craziness going on that the characters didn't get developed very well.
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The first time I read this I so wanted a book directly related to the first two books of the series, that I spent half the book confused, looking for familiar characters that never came out to play. This book is set in the same world as the Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, but not in the same time. I'm not even sure if it is many years before or many years after the first two, but the same rules of society and religion apply. You don't need to have read the first two to read this one, it is a stand alone, though I image they help understand some of the religious/cultural aspects.All this is a long winded way of saying I didn't like it the first time I read it because of my own expectations. Rereading it, having different expectations, I find like it just fine. Lady Ijada is a lovely character, a noble woman accused of a most serious crime, with few friends and allies, but with a strict belief in her innocence. Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliffe, famous for being possessed by a wolf spirit, comes to take her to judgment, and along the way all sorts of adventures, both physical and mystical happen. Bujold is such a joy as a writer, fluid, fluent, expressive, using beautiful words but not over using them. A very intelligent author. I'm glad I reread this and really enjoyed it.
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Really enjoyable. An interestingly different take on the standard dark ages low fantasy world. This is nominally the third of a series, which I didn't realise when I bought it. It seems emminently readable as a standalone, and I'm looking ofrward to enjoying the earlier books to find out exactly what happened previously.Lord Ingrey is the disinherited eldest son of a duke. Not for any of the usual reasons, but because his father succeeded in an ancient (forbidden) rite of investing an animal soul within him. The Temple's usual punishment for such action is hanging, but given the extenuating circumstances Ingrey is allowed to live, although much rumour and gossip surrounds him. He makes his living as a trusted confident and man-at-arms for the High King's sealmaster, Hetwar. As such he is sent to a remote township where the king's youngest son has been murdered. The lady in question is to be brought to the capital for trial. Given that she is a lady of minor rank, Ingrey is cureously polite, but it's quickly apparent that something uncanny has happened - and that the prince was involved. The return journey quickly gets stranger still and Ingrey and the Lady Ilja are thrown into the murky politics of the capital and the Gods where, even here, not everything is as it seems.This works very well as a standalone, the references to the animal magic system are still clearly explained, as is the history and politics of the surrounding kingdoms, even if the precise details leading up to the Prince's death don't emerge. The characters are vibrant and sympathetic, occasionally humerous and interact well together. The plot is well constructed with several red herrings until the main action is revealed. the ending is perhaps a little bit weak. The only other slightly significant downside is that some of the names are too similar, Fala and Fafa for instance. I read quickly and look at a name as a character tag, it was easy if confusing to get these mixed up!Well worth reading, an enjoyable fantasy, vastly different from her more famous SF series.
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A book from the world of Paladin of Souls and The Curse of Chalion. Spirits who belong to the land mix it up with humans who have the ability to shape change and humans who have found a way to circumvent death. The damage to the land and the twisting of power lead to a huge push by the dead and old powers to make things right.
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Another good book in the Chalion series. LMB's fantasy writing is brilliant - I'm not a fan of her SciFi. If you liked the others in the series you'll like this one. Its not a sequel as no characters from previous books are mentioned. It just uses the same world for a new story.
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a good read. Not the best in this series
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I was blown away by the first two books in the Chalion series. Perhaps my expectations here were too high. The Hallowed Hunt is not a bad book by any means, but it suffers from a slow start, less developed characters, and sometimes confusing theological plot twists.Prince Boleso has been murdered. Lord Ingrey has been dispatched to bring his murderer to justice, and finds things are not at all what he expects. The murderer is a young woman, defending herself from rape. To make the tale even more sordid, the prince dabbled in ancient magics and killed a jaguar--a jaguar whose soul then entered the woman's body. Lord Ingrey has suffered from a similar condition since he was a teenager, and endured much suspicion and condemnation because of the wolf residing in his body. Now, he finds a like soul--and is likely returning her to the capital to face a lopsided trail and certain death.Part of my joy in the first books was in the involvement of the deities. Here, their presence felt more detached for the first half of the book. Everything was about the animal spirits, and that just didn't grab me the same way. Ingrey is a like able enough fellow, but sometimes he feels weak and whiny. Lady Ijada, possessing the jaguar, never really had a chance to come into her own; this is a shame because Bujold's other books displayed such strong, confident women.The Curse of Chalion and The Paladin of Souls will have a permanent place on my shelf; this one will be traded in.
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The darkest of the trilogy, but with the best ending. It kind of slogs along and then hits you. I really liked the characters of Hallana and Jokol, and I liked Ijada and Ingrey as well but found their romance a bit stiff and uninteresting.
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The third book the author has set in The world of Chalion.The setting is elswhere this time. The Weald which currently follows the same religion as Chalion was before its conquest about five hundred years ago a very different place where the religion was a shamanistic one where people sacrificed animals to absorb their spirits. remnants of the old practises still survive. Which is how Ingrey his own soul unwillingly defiled by a wolf spirit. Finds himself dispatched to tidy up the mess left by death of The king' mad youngest son at the hands of a gentlewoman he intended to use and rape in just such a cerimony. The old ways are refusing to be forgotten. The integration of shamanistic practises into the magic/religious sytwem of the other books is flawless. There is plenty of political manouvering,the cast are generally well drawn and it should work well as a stand alone novel but it lacks the tension and humour of Bujold at her best.
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I picked up on the basis that I read [The Vor Game] years and years and years ago, and really enjoyed it. This book was a totally different genre, romantic fantasy through and through rather than a bit of space opera, but it was a good read. The first 10 or so pages took a bit of getting through, but once the main character was introduces and the basic scene was set, the intricate plotting came into it's own, with the main character falling for the one person he shouldn't while coming to terms with who he really was, and trying to unravel who is plotting against him. The romance was predicable and not very convincing, but the world building was interesting, the plotting and paranoia all good. I will be reading more of this author.
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(Amy) By far the weakest offering in the Chalion universe to date, but still enjoyable. Bujold sets the bar for excellence so very high that sometimes even she seems to have trouble meeting it later.
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(mild, mild spoilers)The Hallowed Hunt comprises the third novel set in the same world as 'Curse of Chalion' and 'Paladin of Souls', but in a different locale, with a new set of characters and at a different time. For these reasons, the book can be read easily as a standalone novel. In any event, it feels completely unconnected both in style and story, to the first two novels. The book is slow to start. Perhaps detrimentally so. I realised that I was genuinely excited by events when there were 70 pages left out of 400. The story is told through the eyes of Lord Ingrey, who carries a magic he does not understand. The villain, Wencel, carries a similar magic and is using it for ill purpose, and again Lord Ingrey is in the dark to his intentions or the truth of the magic. Consequently, most of the book is a foray into Lord Ingrey's mind as he soul-searches, thinks and asks many, many questions about what is happening, what could happen and what he might do about it. Given that I did become enthralled by the last few chapters I realised that somewhere along the slow journey I had come to care about the characters and their fates. But, perhaps, things could have started happening earlier. Bujold's writing lacked a certain spark that brought the previous Chalion novels to rich life. In 'The Hallowed Hunt' the writing was dry, bordering on dull. The love story is stale, predictable and didn't feel particularly genuine either. In fact, it felt like a means to an end, which is a crushing judgment on any love story in a novel. So, while by the end of the book, I enjoyed 'The Hallowed Hunt', I can understand if others throw the book aside early on out of sheer boredom, as I nearly did.
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I'm a huge fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, but I just could not get into this book. The previous two books set in this world had intriguing mysteries centered upon the unique concept of gods she created, but this one feels labored. I had to make myself keep going. There were great minor characters, but I had a hard time getting interested in the main ones, which is so unusual for this author! I didn't feel the suspense. I think this ones qualifies as my least favorite of her books.
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